In a shocking incident, a social media team member of the Aam Aadmi party (AAP) equated the ‘Nazi salute’ to India’s national song Vande Mataram. While wishing Arvind Kejriwal on his birthday, Aarti, an AAP worker, uploaded a vintage photograph of a Nazi crowd saluting Adolf Hitler. The said picture had a man who chose not to give the Nazi salute.
Aarti, who is a member of AAP National Social Media Team as per her Twitter profile, uploaded another picture from India’s Independence day celebrations yesterday where everyone was seen putting their hands high while responding to chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ by PM Modi at the end of his speech. In the said picture, Arvind Kejriwal was seen sitting motionless. Drawing parallels between the ‘defying’ actions of the German man and Kejriwal, the AAP social media team member wrote, “The one who dares to stand out.”
Asha drew parallels between Nazi Salute and Vande Mataram
In a bid to portray the AAP supremo as a man who chooses to stand out from the crowd, Asha equated the Nazi salute, associated with anti-Semitism, to Bankim Chandra’s Vande Mataram, an iconic song that defines the territory of India as the motherland of its citizens.
The famous photograph showing one man refusing to give the Nazi salute was shot on 13 June 1936, at the occasion of the launching of a navy ship at a shipyard in Hamburg. The man was August Landmesser, who was a Nazi party member, but he was expelled from the party in 1935 for marrying a Jews woman. Landmesser was convicted of “dishonoring the race” under Nazi laws, and was jailed. He was later released and drafted into the army, and he had died during the war. His Jews wife was sent to a concentration camp, and was killed by the Nazis in 1942.
The photo of August Landmesser refusing to give the Nazi salute signifies the defiance of the one of the most brutal regime in the world, where millions of Jews were killed by Hitler’s forces during the Holocaust. What he did was a very brave act. That can’t be compared with what Arvind Kejriwal. He was attending the Independence Day celebration of the nation, and the chant was Vande Mataram, the national song. He was not attending some BJP event, as his supports will like to believe.
There is no bravery in not respecting the national song. It is also shocking that the AAP workers equate Vande Mataram with the Nazi salute. It may be noted that the Nazi salute is banned in several countries now including Germany.
The ‘Vande Matram’ controversy
Earlier on Saturday, when the Red Fort reverberated with chants of Vande Mataram, Arvind Kejriwal chose to be indifferent. While everyone responded jubilantly to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s chants of Vande Mataram, the AAP supremo was least bothered about the Indian Independence day event.
Kejriwal’s indifferent attitude towards sloganeering of National song drew the ire of netizens who demanded an apology from the Delhi Chief Minister.